The Center for Social Ecology and Public Policy (CSEPP) is a nonprofit consulting firm that works through cultural systems in place-based communities to align citizen and institutional interests while promoting valued social change.
The CSEPP Approach
What Makes a Community Tick?
Learning community first is the prerequisite for developing projects and programs that have community support and offer community benefit. Such an effort always reveals opportunities to be responsive while meeting the goals of your own mission.
Early and Direct Citizen Contact to Avoid Surprise
The number one cause of project disruption is surprise. Alarm causes fear and a closing in. Your project should not be seen as a threat and threat is deflated by acting culturally--as a good neighbor to seek out others to get acquainted and to learn. At the heart of many disruptive issues is hurt feelings of individuals who did not feel they were treated with respect. We provide the culturally-appropriate means to communicate about your project.
Controversial projects by definition lose the middle ground. The stage is given over to extreme voices who rarely have community standing and instead represent some economic, political or ideological interest. CSEPP gets under this rhetoric to bring forward the real issues of a proposed project from the caretaking systems of the community. We create safe communication venues in which extreme voices are not able to dominate so that a moderate middle can develop.
Practical Approaches to Sustainability Initiatives
As jurisdictions around the globe experiment in ways to foster greater sustainability in communities, economies and environments, CSEPP offers practical approaches to include citizens in change activities. For sustainability initiatives to be successful, they must be incorporated into the informal community systems that comprise the caretaking, survival strategies and cultural values. Once change is embedded within the culture, it is very difficult to uproot.
We have heard clients say many times over the years, “How can I get people to do what I want?” The questions speaks to the frustration of project planners who believe if people just understood what they have in mind, they would support the change. This attitude prompts companies and governments to put out ever more “fact sheets” and press releases which are not effective in changing attitudes. A better question is, “How can I develop citizen partnerships so that my project creates community benefits?” CSEPP can show you how to do this.
Luis Ibañez is now the CSEPP Latin American rep and has received CSEPP certification in Social Ecology Project Management.
[January 2016] CSEPP is committed to advancing the discipline of social ecology worldwide through its graduated certification program. In conjunction with his earning the CSEPP Level IV Social Ecology Practitioner Certification, Sr. Ibañez was also appointed as CSEPP’s main point of contact in Latin America, with special emphasis in Central America. Congratulations Sr. Ibanez!
Dr. Kevin Preister addresses industry leaders on community engagement best practices
CSEPP's quarterly Board of Directors meeting
[December 2015} The CSEPP Board convened their quarterly meeting to review the organization's priorities and to strategize how to facilitate community driven change to tackle out most pressing social issues ranging from addressing climate change to urban renewal.
CSEPP Welcomes new members to its board of directors
CSEPP Executive Director Kevin Preister and Senior Associate Trish Malone continue to invite individuals to join the CSEPP board which provides high-level direction and oversight for CSEPP, a registered nonprofit organization.